Karachi, November 10, 2021: Building on the resounding success of the 1st “Roshni Baji” Women Ambassador Program, K-Electric today officially announced the launch of its second cohort comprising 60 women from different parts of Karachi on Wednesday. This initiative extends KE’s commitment to uplift its communities and empower residents through targeted investment and support at a grassroots level. Mrs. Reema Imran, the spouse of Governor of Sindh Imran Ismail, graced the occasion with her presence in the ceremony as the Chief Guest. She was also joined by senior leadership from the company including Sadia Dada – Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Amer Zia – Chief Distribution Officer, Rizwan Pesnani – Chief Risk Officer, and Rizwan Dalia – Chief Peoples Officer and representative from FMO, Netherlands Development Bank, along with their Environment & Social Consultant.
As an equal opportunity employer, KE has been inducting women from a diverse spectrum of ethnicities, educational backgrounds, and ages, entrusting them with the mission of continuing the momentum and engaging communities on a customer-centric vision. KE’s diverse work force and culture is one of its key strengths and recognizing the potential of women in multiple areas of business. KE has inducted five Women Grid Operating Officers (GOOs) to take on challenging roles in the Transmission business. Furthermore, the company has also inducted a number of female meter reading officers who go out on the field to carry out their duties alongside their male counterparts.
Elated at the occasion, Governor of Sindh’s spouse, Mrs. Reema Imran said: “It is an honor for me to be the part of this occasion. These women are making their names in fields that remained male-dominated for decades, they are indeed rewiring the system through their efforts and dedication. I appreciate the effort that K-Electric is making in pioneering such excellent initiatives for women empowerment, and look forward to seeing more companies carry this example forward by developing inclusive programs which can enable women to play a more active role in the provincial and national economies.”
The Roshni Baji initiative was conceived in line with the UN’s 5th Sustainability Development Goal (SDG 5) that aims to achieve gender equality and women empowerment by the year 2030. The program is also in consonance with the vision of Chairman NEPRA “Power with Prosperity” which focuses on uplifting the society at large. The first cohort of 40 women was inducted in February 2021 and underwent extensive training before being sent to various communities of Karachi. Only within 7 months, the group engaged over 120,000 households in their own communities to raise awareness about general safety, electrical safety, rain safety, power theft hazards and energy conservation. They were also trained as Pakistan’s first certified women electricians and were taught how to ride and maintain a bike, creating a new talent pool for the industry at large. In addition to providing gainful employment, KE has invested in equipping these women with skills and confidence to break barriers in an industry which is generally known to be male-dominated.
While addressing the ceremony, Amer Zia, Chief Distribution Officer at K-Electric said, “With our previous cohort, I have seen the phenomenal personal and professional growth these women have undergone and it has been a heartening experience. These women shared their stories with us and were looking for an opportunity to be empowered and gain confidence, and we are glad to champion their cause. Increasing female economic participation, enhancing income-earning opportunities, and improving women’s access to good quality jobs are key focus areas of K-Electric’s diversity strategy.”
Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at K-Electric, Sadia Dada said, “Today’s event is momentous because it demonstrates the transformative impact that can be had with investment and support at a grassroots level. Pakistan has unfortunately ranked low on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, with various challenges faced by women in the country with regards to social indicators like health, education & financial inclusion. K-Electric is committed to change this reality and achieve gender equality. Apart from the Roshni Baji Program, we have also hired 11 of these women as female meter readers who are part of our growing cadre of women performing these duties alongside their male colleagues. It is also very impressive how these women are utilizing their skills for the betterment of their homes, and their communities. We believe that this is setting a precedent to encourage other sectors to also contribute with their initiatives, especially in STEM fields.”
Diversity and Inclusion is a key pillar of KE’s progressive Corporate Social Responsibility vision for the future of Karachi and Pakistan’s power sector. The company also regularly supports organizations working towards the betterment of the city, and launched the first edition of the KHI Awards recognizing over 30 winners across 13 critical social welfare categories via a rigorous process independently audited by a renowned firm; the total asset base of the winners was PKR 54 billion, which can be classified as the contribution required to keep a megalopolis like Karachi functioning for its approximately 20 million citizens. These sustained efforts have also been acknowledged at local and international forums – the Roshni Baji Program and KE’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts have been shortlisted as a finalist by the S&P Global Platts Energy Awards.